PHE-10 Heat Transfer and Pressure Drop for Non-Newtonian Fluids in Plate-Type Heat Exchangers

J. W. Palen

This report reviews non-Newtonian flow theory and analyzes literature on heat transfer and pressure drop for such fluids in plate-type heat exchangers. Proper characterization of non-Newtonian viscosity is very important in plate exchanger geometry because plate exchangers have inherently high shear rates. The consensus in the literature is that a powermodel apparent viscosity is appropriate for most applications. Xphe®, HTRI’s plate heat exchanger software, can model non-Newtonian fluids by using the apparent viscosity approach. Several examples demonstrate practical applications.